BIFA calls for cargo security rethink

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BIFA is calling on the government for a more radical, streamlined approach to border security for cargo movements by reducing the number of agencies needing to be co-ordinated.
In its response to Gordon Brown’s recent announcement of a review of the UK’s border security arrangements, it said it would encourage the government to look beyond people and include cargo movement through our air and seaports in its plans.
It should also extend its plans to include all government departments and agencies with a ‘control at border’ remit.
BIFA argues that its members, and the exporters and importers they serve, are forced to deal with a plethora of regulatory authorities and requirements to move cargo across the border. They believe there is much to be gained for business competitiveness and government effectiveness, in bringing about genuine ‘joined-up’ working across all departments in this area.
Director general Colin Beaumont said: “Companies managing international supply-chains have long been frustrated by the cross-cutting procedural and regulatory requirements at the border and the absence of co-ordination between the relevant authorities. This continues to hamper business efficiency and increase costs.
“We would urge the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O’Donnell, to use the opportunity of his wider review to seriously consider going much further than currently envisaged and propose the establishment of a single UK Border Agency to encompass all relevant activities.”

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